The U.S. Supreme Court justices grilled attorneys for both Aereo Inc. and the big broadcasters Tuesday, expressing strong skepticism about the legality of the streaming service but also pushing the networks to explain how the court could avoid a ruling in the copyright battle that harms cloud computing.
The U.S. International Trade Commission's much-awaited decision in Certain Digital Models confirms that the ITC can provide a powerful remedy for software, publishing and media companies whose intellectual property rights have been violated. However, those wishing to take advantage of this decision should craft their discovery requests carefully, and consider the timing of when they file complaints, says Aarti Shah, a partner with Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC and former senior investigative attorney at the ITC.
The State Bar of California has decided to follow New York's lead and require prospective attorneys to record 50 hours of pro bono service in order to be eligible for admission. While we applaud the intentions behind these initiatives, there are a number of reasons why state bars should limit any mandatory pro bono requirement to this context, rather than extend it to licensed attorneys as some have suggested, say attorneys with the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.
The latest decision in California's ongoing big-box retail battle came from a state appellate court in California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland, which invalidated the approval of a development project. The reversal highlights a number of important California Environmental Quality Act compliance issues — not least among them mitigating "urban decay" and energy impacts, say Benjamin Rubin and Robert Thornton of Nossaman LLP.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Northwest Inc. v. Ginsberg that the Airline Deregulation Act preempts a state-law claim for breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing if the claim seeks to enlarge the contractual obligations of parties. The practical result is that any airline can terminate a frequent flyer membership according to the terms of its contract, without fear of implied duties being applied to it, says Marie Williams of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.
The recent New York Court of Appeals ruling in Cornell v. 360 West 51st Street Realty LLC emphasizes the difficult burden faced by plaintiffs in mold exposure personal injury cases when a Frye challenge is made relating to the foundation of the plaintiff’s expert opinion on both general and specific causation, say John Casey and Brian Casey of Hiscock & Barclay LLP.
The Third Circuit recently ruled in Thompson v. Real Estate Mortgage Network that a successor company can be held liable for remedying Fair Labor Standards Act violations committed by a predecessor company. In light of this highly visible and expanding precedent, case law is clear that liability may apply even when successor employers are bona fide purchasers and specifically disclaim in agreements any liability for legal claims against the predecessor, say Patrick McCarthy and Kevin Skelly of Day Pitney LLP.
Even if the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does not voluntarily suspend the June 2, 2014, obligation to file conflict minerals reports, the National Association of Manufacturers is likely to request a stay, pending revisions that comply with the recent D.C. Circuit decision. Still, by leaving intact the SEC’s policy choices regarding duty to investigate supply chains, the decision is unlikely to lead to a significant reduction in due diligence requirements for publicly traded companies, says Frank Murray Jr. of Foley & Lardner LLP.
Nearly five years into the lawsuit, a California federal court recently denied the NCAA's summary judgment motion and ordered that the student-athletes' antitrust claims proceed to trial in June. The decision is noteworthy in its fact-intensive assessment of the NCAA’s procompetitive justifications, its repeated reliance on the least restrictive means test and its demands that the specific restraint be closely tied to the purported procompetitive justifications, say attorneys with Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.
In what has become an annual rite of springtime, shareholder plaintiff lawyers are once again targeting Schedule 14A annual meeting proxy statements that include proposals on executive compensation, requirements for tax deductibility of performance-based compensation, and other issues requiring shareholder action. Fortunately for issuers, these types of claims usually fare poorly when plaintiffs are forced to defend them in court, say Gerard Pecht and Peter Stokes of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.
A recent ruling in Davis v. Elliot Management Corp. (In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.) steadfastly asserts that payment of creditors committee members’ professional fees must be subject to the “substantial contribution” standard, even when such payments are agreed upon by the relevant constituencies. This means that payment of indenture trustees’ legal fees could be controversial in future Chapter 11 cases in the Southern District of New York, say attorneys with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.